Pakistan is currently undergoing one of its worst crises following heavy monsoon downpours and melting glaciers in Pakistan’s northern mountain regions. The floodwaters ravaged towns, villages, roads, and bridges claiming the lives of more than 1,400 people and affecting an estimated 33 million more. The floods have caused severe structural damage throughout the country, with nearly two million homes and businesses destroyed along with 7,000 kilometers of roads and numerous bridges washed away.
Some aid has poured in, and Pakistan is scrambling to deliver it to the people who need it the most. However, reaching the worst-affected areas is a struggle in itself, as mobility through flood-affected areas has been hampered by damaged roads and bridges.
Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s minister for climate change, warned that the rains, which had abated late last month only to restart this week, are predicted to continue lashing much of the country in the coming weeks.
The perilous situation has also created heroes out of ordinary people who have stepped up to help in their own ways. A man is being hailed as a “hidden hero” for his remarkable act of building a bridge in just 36 hours in order to help the people escape the floods. Wajid Ali constructed a wooden bridge across a river in Lower Kohistan. The bridge built as a temporary structure has become a lifeline for thousands of people who move across for essential supplies, medicines, and treatment. Wajid Khan, with the help of supplies provided by the Communication and Works (C&W) Department, was able to complete its construction in just 36 hours.
The team with Wajid Khan has now moved up a few kilometers to build another one of these structures to ease the traffic and help people move across for their essential needs.
Authorities in Pakistan have warned it could take up to six months for the deadly flood waters to recede in the country’s hardest-hit areas, as fears rise over the threat posed by waterborne diseases including cholera and dengue.
Initially, Pakistan estimated that the floods caused $10 billion in damages, but authorities now say the damages are far greater. The devastation has forced the United Nations to urge the international community to send more help.